One-Day Mataram

Deconstructing the gentleman's game

Pulverizing Punter Ponting pips Proud Prince

First of all hats off to the Aussies, they batted like true champions.

I think the decision by Ganguly to field first was the correct one but the opening bowlers had an awful day. They pitched the ball a bit too short early on, exactly where Gilchrist likes them. Damien Martyn played wonderfully and set the stage up for a wonderful finish by Ricky Ponting. Ponting had Lady Luck smiling all along as many of his airy-fairy shots found vacant spots between converging fielders. But after the 42nd over all the shots he hit stayed that way and the eight sixes off his bat were simply breathtaking. Finally the Aussies set the Indians an imposing target of 360 for the World Cup.

The Indians came out to bat positively but McGrath and Lee did not give them the room to free their arms and that is what accounted for Sachin. Even though Sachin, their most prolific scorer, went in the first over itself, this Indian team still believed that the game was on. Sehwag played his best innings for this tournament and it was only after his dismissal that the Aussies could breathe easy. Rain created a lot of drama and there was a 25 minute break but the weather cleared up fast and the game continued but with a threat that Duckworth and Lewis could decide the fate of the Cup, and really speaking that would have been India's best chance.

As luck would have it, it was not to be and the game was played till the Indians were bowled out losing by a margin of 125, but credit goes to the batsmen for fighting it out in the face of an insurrmountable looking total and the spirit shown bythe team augurs well for the future of Indian cricket. Ganguly was right in pointing out that his team had given it's all throughout the tournament and there is no shame in losing to a champion team.

All of us Indians should be proud of our team. Sadly, we have had to settle for second place this time around, maybe in West Indies we can do one better !!!

One-Day Mataram !!!

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